When Do Good Republicans Drive OUT the Racists?

This is destined to be a
recurring theme of this blog for a while, until good, decent Republicans
actually move to get their party back.

I want to know why you
are not more disgusted with the sort of filth people who claim to be of your
ilk spew forth. Fox News is 24 hours of hate speech disguised as information
and political commentary, and the Republican Party leadership not only doesn't
complain about the constant stream of lies and inaccuracies, they kiss Roger
Ailes' ass, as if he's more demigod than antichrist.

I mean, come off it,
Republicans! I know tons of Republicans, and none of them would seem to approve
of the constant pandering to the lowest common denominator in our society. So,
why are so many Republicans sitting back and letting it continue in their name?
Even if it made some rational sense back in the days when you were winning
elections, right now it makes no sense whatsoever. Perhaps you haven’t noticed,
but appealing to the fringe elements of society isn’t helping you win anything
any longer.

And for once, I'm not
going after the easy targets. The media whores, like Limbaugh, Hannity,
O'Reilly, etc., who spout racist bullshit on a daily basis. Not, this time, I'm
going to deal with the  not-so-subtle racism of the Sotomayor
hearings should be really pissing you off. Let's start with Lindsay Graham,
shall we? He's still stuck on that stupid goddamn "wise Latina"
comment she made in a speech. Yes, that’s in a speech she gave, not in any sort
of ruling during 17 years on the federal bench. The only case in which she has
ever apparently said anything Graham and the Republicans could twist as “racist”
came in a SPEECH at a Latina conference. So he says: 

When it comes to your speeches, that is the most troubling thing
to me, because that gives us an indication, when you're able to get outside the
courtroom without the robe, an insight into how you think life works, and this
wise Latino comment has been talked about a lot. But I can just tell you one
thing: If I had said anything remotely like that, my career would have been

The most troubling
aspect of the right's racism, honestly, is the implied ignorance, and if I
were a typical Republican, I'd be really upset. Just as Jon Kyl should know
better about the frequency of reversal of her Supreme Court opinions, Graham
should know better about racism, and that statement is ridiculous on several
levels. First of all, Graham's career wouldn't be over, and he knows it. That’s
why he and his Republican colleagues play to the racists and bigots to this
degree in the first place; he knows the assholes will continue to elect him
live for this crap; they’d stand and cheer him. But where does the idea that,
somehow, minorities and women are equal with white men in our society come from?
They're not. Sure, we’ve largely gone beyond the lynchings and overt racism
that marked our society for several centuries, but racism is alive and well,
and apparent to anyone with their eyes open. There is a distinct difference
between a Latina joining a group of Latinas advocating for civil rights, and a
white man joining a group of white men to – do what, exactly? Why WOULD a large
group of white men gather to discuss their whiteness? That's a good question,
isn't it? I mean, white men have all the rights in the world, unless they
happen to be gay. 

Unfortunately, the
history of white men gathering in large numbers to address race issues has not
been a good one. Therefore, it would seem to be racist ignorance that would
lead a politician to say something as stupid and insensitive. But Senator
Graham knows goddamn well that there's a huge difference between a Latina woman
in today's society encouraging other Hispanics to keep fighting for their
rights, and a powerful white man saying roughly the same thing regarding white
people. You see, when Latina women get together to discuss civil rights, it's
because some are still being denied. When white men get together to discuss
civil rights, it's to try to keep minorities and women from encroaching on
"their" territory. . 

Here's one from Senator
Charles Grassley: 

Judge Sotomayor, you are nominated to the highest court of the
land, which has the final say on the law. As such, it’s even more important for
the Senate to ascertain whether you can resist the temptations to mold the
Constitution to your own personal beliefs and preferences. It’s even more
important for the Senate to ascertain whether you can dispense justice without
bias or prejudice.

I know a lot of right
wingers won't see the inherent racism in the above, but when is the last time
someone asked a white male nominee if he would be able to "dispense
justice without bias or prejudice"? The implication, when combined with
the now-infamous "wise Latina" comment, is that someone who has pride
in who she is and where she came from is going to be naturally biased

That's funny,
considering that of the 107 people who have served as Justices on the Supreme
Court, 103 of them have been white men, and in 220 years of Supreme Court decisions,
the bias has always leaned toward white males. Apparently, that was okay with
these Republicans. Why are there suddenly concerns about ethnic biases, now
that women and minorities are being nominated to the court? I’m not aware of
senators like Grassley and Graham expressing concern that Samuel Alito and John
Roberts might express some bias toward white men, when they were nominated. Even
when Sotomayor takes her seat, and she will, white men will hold six of the
seats; seven if you include Clarence Thomas, and many people would. So, what is
Grassley afraid of? There are still more than enough white men on the Court to
uphold the status quo he obviously finds so dear. 

Now, I mentioned Jeffy
Beau Sessions in an earlier post, but this bears repeating. This guy has racist
leanings going way back, and they have been on display for all to see at the
Sotomayor hearings. 

During a speech 15 years ago, Judge Sotomayor said, ‘I willingly
accept we who judge must not deny the difference resulting from experience and
heritage, but attempt continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and
prejudices are appropriate.' And in that same speech she said, ‘My experiences
will affect the facts I choose to see.’ (…) Having tried a lot of cases, that
particular phrase bothers me.

This is galling on several levels. First of all,
why should a Latina woman not cite
her “experience and heritage” as factors in her decision making, especially when
she’s being questioned by a bunch of Southern white male Republicans like
Sessions? Does Jeffy Beau think the 104 white men who have served as justices
in the past put aside their “experience and heritage” when they served on the
court? Jeffy Beau, Google “Roger Taney” and get back to us.

The worst aspect of Jeffy Beau's involvement in this comes when you understand Sessions’ background. You see,
Jeffy Beau was once in the hot seat himself, as a nominee for a district court
judgeship back in 1986. You see, he was accused of “gross racial insensitivity,"
and his nomination was deep-sixed, and you'd think he'd know better. It seems that Jeffy Beau once suggested that
he didn’t think the Ku Klux Klan was so bad, until he found out they smoked
pot, and he often referred to the NAACP and the ACLU as “un-American” and “communist-inspired”
because they “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” 

Gee, why would we not want a judge who thought
that people asking for the same rights as everyone else were “forc(ing) civil
rights down the throats of people”?  (Although the turn of phrase certainly indicates why he's anti-gay.) And what does it say about his mindset
when he’s questioning a Latina woman, and suggesting that, perhaps, she might be inclined to include her life as a Latina woman as a frame of reference in her rulings?  

And for those of you who think I'm overreacting, or reading too much into these idiots' words, we have this from Jeffy Beau Sessions, as he's questioning Judge Sotomayor on her judicial background, normally a fair playing field:

You voted
not to reconsider the prior case. You voted to stay with the decision of the
circuit. And in fact your vote was the key vote. Had you voted with Judge Cabranes, himself of Puerto Rican ancestry, had
you voted with him, you could’ve changed that case

Yes, you read that right. Though he will deny his racism with his dying breath, Jeffy Beau makes it clear that he thinks all folks who share the same ethnicity should agree on everything. That comes from a mindset in which all of the white people he knows think alike, which is a scary prospect, to say the least.

Why does the Republican Party put up
with people like this in its leadership? The Democrats used to be the party of
racists, until they were efffectively kicked out many years ago. Now, the Republicans are
playing host to them, and it's ten times worse, because they've been allowed to
become the leaders of the party. Do you really want to become the party of
ignorant racist rednecks? Considering how much reasonable people in the
country despise people like this, and considering how swiftly progress is being
made on the equality front, don’t you think it’s time you stopped accepting
racism as a party platform?


This country needs a two-party system. I’m a
lifelong Democrat, but I don’t want one party dominating politics to any great
degree. We need a formidable opposition. Right now, the Republican Party is
letting the racists drag it into oblivion. Whether you like it or not, the
latest flap on the Free Republic boards, in which Freepers trashed 11 year old
Malia Obama in horribly racist terms, reflects on the Republican Party, because
these people think they’re “good Republicans,” in part because Republican
politicians throw them racist political bones on a regular basis. Questions
about Judge Sotomayor’s rulings on abortion, guns, or even affirmative action,
are acceptable political questions that can and should be considered during these
hearings. What should be absolutely not relevant in any way is Judge Sotomayor’s
ethnicity, and the fact that it has been front and center in the discussion
since her nomination, should qualify as a huge embarrassment to good and decent


Republicans, please take your party back from
these people. We need two solid political parties in this system. And racism belongs in the margins, not in the leadership of a major political organization.

And we haven't even begun to talk about the sexism…



When Do Good Republicans Drive OUT the Racists? — 3 Comments

  1. I appreciate the kind words, but I would argue that, given history, the fact that we have a two-party system in a winner-take-all electoral scheme is something of a minor miracle. That the Democratic Party is diverse is a good thing. And one reason it’s becoming more diverse is because the idiots have taken over the GOP and run it into the ground. A healthy second party is necessary, because no one has a lock on all of the answers. Compromise is how everyone stays happy.
    I would really suggest not thinking so negatively. Take your head out of the news for a day or two and look around. The “talking heads” don’t have all that much influence; if they did, Dubya would be serving a third term, and we’d be steps closer to a fascist state. Truth always wins out, but sometimes you have to meet the BS head on.
    Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. My first time on your site, courtesy of Thom Hartmann. Love your thoughts; the only point I’ll slightly argue with? We don’t have to worry too much about the demise of the rupugnican party; we would still have a MULTI-PARTY system, in that we Democrats are so inclusive, we have at least 10 or 20 subset-parties WITHIN our party! Proof: the latest sabotage by “blue-monkey Democrats” as well as the fact that by their comments on the talk show circuit yesterday, Geithner and Summers threw a 2-ton monkey wrench into the whole Healthcare-for-all effort. AND the Whitehouse has YET to come out strongly to dispute the Talking Heads Talking Point of the Day–that President Obama DOES plan to tax the Middle Class. As I said to Thom: We’re Screwed!

  3. Came across this site today, and I can’t stop reading. And laughing. And nodding my head. Love your style of writing, and couldn’t bookmark you fast enough.